Hallglen

Hallglen and St. Modan’s OR St. Modan’s and Hallglen

In the early 1970s the Kirk Session of St. Modan’s Parish Church agreed to accept the Presbytery’s invitation to have the new housing scheme, which was being built in Hallglen, added to their parish.

There was to be no new church building but the Church of Scotland agreed to contribute to the building costs of the Hallglen Community Centre in return for an agreement which gave the church exclusive occupation of a number of rooms and storage spaces within the building and certain priority rights “ and reduced fees “ for lets of the main hall and other spaces.

 

However, when the first houses in Hallglen were occupied, work on the Community Centre had not been completed and alternative accommodation had to be found if services were to commence. The hall of the primary school, which opened in August 1975, met the need and Rev. Graeme Foster led family services there until the Community Centre had been completed.

 

St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church had also decided to use the school to provide services for the members of its congregation who lived in Glen Village and Hallglen so there was a weekly ecumenical encounter as the St. Francis’ congregation left the hall to make way for the arriving St. Modan’s members.

 

On the completion of the Hallglen Centre, the family services moved into the new Hall. The official opening, early in 1978, did not take place until quite some time after the move. By the end of 1978 Mr. Foster had been called to a new charge and early in 1979 Rev. Ron Smith took his place. Ron continued the pattern of worship established by his predecessor “ a service in Hallglen followed, in his case, by a rapid motorbike transfer to St. Modan’s for the second morning service. There was also an evening service, normally held in the St. Modan’s building but occasionally moving up to the Hallglen Centre where worship took place in the vestibule outside the Vestry and Office.

 

It was in the committee rooms that Ron introduced the congregation to Agape Feasts on Maundy Thursday. These were shared meals during which Communion was also shared. Latterly these too were held in the vestibule.

 

Because St. Modan’s work in Hallglen was regarded by the Church of Scotland as missionary outreach, additional funding was made available to provide the Minister with an assistant who would live in Hallglen and have special responsibility for establishing relationships with the other residents. Stuart Duff was the first to carry out this task before he left to undergo further training and to take on the role of a missionary in the Philippines.

 

One Stuart was followed by another when Stuart Moulds arrived. The two Stuarts were younger men gathering experience before going on to other things. Their successor was an older man who already had considerable experience as a Reader. Neil Martin brought his Hebridean accent and Hebridean style of preaching to Hallglen and to St. Modan’s. Neil stayed with the congregation until he was transferred to Redding and Westquarter Church.

 

Despite the special letting conditions in Hallglen Centre, which had been secured for the congregation by the Church of Scotland, use of the Centre proved too costly for the Boys’ and Girls’ Brigades. They met in the school hall where at first they had free lets until, when the local authority had to tighten its belt, they had to pay a small fee. The affordable use of the school gave the Brigades freedom to develop their activities but it did mean that œthe church was not what the boys and girls saw as their organisations’ home.

 

After the union of St. Modan’s and Falkirk Old Parish Church the pattern of worship continued much as before, although, with at least two ministers being available on most Sundays, there was seldom the need for the rapid transfer of the preacher “ nor for that matter the silver on Communion Sundays - from one worship centre to the other. Ron Smith continued to conduct most of the Morning Services in Hallglen but Leith Fisher, Graham and Sheila Blount and Robert Allan all took regular opportunities to worship with those œup the hill.

 

Unfortunately the numbers attending Services dropped over the years until, after Ron had been called to a new charge and the post of Associate Minister came to an end with his going, the Kirk Session took the decision in 2011 to end regular worship in the Hallglen Centre. However, the congregation’s rights to the Office and Vestry and their rights to preferential use of the Hall at certain times remain intact.

 

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